Unions to meet as bus strike enters fifth week

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Unions representing striking bus drivers will meet on Monday to discuss the way forward, as the nationwide labour action enter its fifth week.

The unions announced on Friday that they had agreed on employers’ 9% wage increase offer for this year and 8% for next year.

However, they refused to sign because employers only want to effect the salary increase from the day the agreement is signed.

Workers want the salary increase to be backdated to April the first. Employers say that’s not affordable.

Irvin Jim who is the general-secretary of Numsa, one of the unions involved in the strike explains:

“This strike does now belong to us, this strike belongs to unions. We can only persuade workers, we can only engage them. But these employers must also know that as these employees feel that they’re losing, they’re actually making these workers to be militant. And what we really celebrate this year, we celebrate Satawu, Numsa and all other unions that we stood together. We did not allow these employers to divide and rule. And our view is that it will be important that in ending this strike as unions, we must stand together, workers must go back to work united.”

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